musicology #344

AlternativeSoundtrack4 #11

(John Coltrane – Spiritual)

Today’s dialogue features Eddie and Sarah almost at each other’s throats. As mentioned yesterday the way Eddie spat Charlie out has left it’s mark on Sarah who has hit the bottle again to try and numb the pain. Alcohol is a problem for Eddie too but not in the same way. For him it’s ‘fuel’ but for Sarah it’s ‘medicine’. I don’t get the impression that he thinks of his consumption as a problem, (the film portrays their reliance on alcohol completely differently), but is all too quick to conclude that for her it is. Anyway in this scene Sarah’s drunk, (it was he who got her back on the bottle at the end of the previous scene), Eddie isn’t and words are spoken, culminating in Eddie giving her a hard slap. Sarah comes back with a scathing response, (one of the best lines of dialogue in the film for me), and Fast Eddie leaves.

Todays’ cut is from a Cat, (with a capital C), whose musical prescence and command of the language is as good as it gets. Must admit that ‘Jazz’ from this period is not generally one of my musical passions but on more than one occasion the ‘Trane has blown my mind with his melodic originality and ability to communicate the message…..The piece also features Eric Dolphy, Reggie Workman, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones.

Garvin Bushell, Ahmed Abdul-Malik and Jimmy Garrison were on the session which was recorded in 1961, (live), at New York’s famed ‘Vanguard Village’ but I don’t know enough about the players or the instruments to discern whether they were involved on this particular Jam. (Engineered by Rudy Van Gelder for Impulse).


5 thoughts on “musicology #344

  1. Hi themu
    The players are Coltrane, Eric Dolphy, Reggie Workman, McCoy Tyner, and Elvin Jones, as you say.
    The piece was recorded on Wednesday Nov 1 1961. Coltrane had a residency at the Village Vanguard from 1 to 5 November, and used it to experiment with the other players you mention.
    They are not on this track.
    For my money, this is the best thing he ever did, maybe the high point of all the jazz I’ve ever heard.
    Did this appear as part of the Hustler soundtrack, or are you editing two pieces of complementary sound together?


    1. Rob,
      thanks for the knowledge.
      nice to know that my ears are tuned..’The high point of all the jazz you’ve ever heard’ is praise indeed !! as mentioned ‘Modern Jazz’ is not generally my ‘bag’ but the first time I heard John Coltrane blow on A Love Supreme, (laid one down as part of a musicology Medley…last piece musicology#6), it sent shivers down my spine, brought tears to my eyes and trembled my marrow. There’s another cut on this session, India that also blows me away and it was a tough call as to which one to lay down.
      It didn’t appear on the film originally, (the actual soundtrack is non existant in my opinion), so It’s an edit of mine. Glad to hear that you are enjoying it.
      Thanks for the support


  2. Is that the same Rudy Van Gelder of Van Gelder Studios, Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey? If so he was the cat sitting at the mixing desk April 27th. 1964 when Jimmy Smith (with a not so big band) recorded his version of the L. Schifrin song The Cat!!

    Pukka piece of editing by the way… respect! And alcohol as ‘fuel’ to/for one and ‘medicine’ to/for another is pretty good writing too!


  3. another tuff scene to be a party too…Sarah’s disintigrating and Eddie’s like a caged animal in the face of it…If I had’nt known this was the ‘alternative’ I would have thought this piece of music was on the film so well did it fit the scene..masterfully done!


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